Living With An Autoimmune Disease

An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system identifies harmless molecules or cells in your body as enemies and attacks them. Two common autoimmune diseases that affect millions of people are lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Below are some accounts of what it’s like living with these illnesses. If you have been diagnosed with lupus or RA, please consult with your doctor about a treatment plan that’s right for you. 

Living with Lupus
Symptoms_of_SLELupus is known as “systemic lupus erythematous”, which is a problematic, chronic disorder that causes the immune system to attack any organ. One 45 -year-old female patient shares her experience living with lupus:
“I have had lupus for 13 years. It took 4 years to diagnose it. My blood tests did not show the normal results for a positive lupus test but the doctor said let’s try you on Plaquenil. I responded to the Plaquenil so we decided I have lupus. I was doing fine with no flare ups until last March when I was hospitalized for
pain management. I now have a positive ANA [test] (antinuclear antibody) and low C3 as well as a low Vitamin D. I have recently been struggling with severe hip muscle and knee pain. I am on steroids and I can’t seem to get an answer from any doctor to explain my severe pain in the knees and hips. My CRP does not indicate inflammation.”

Another woman in her late 30’s shares her experience living with lupus:
“I was diagnosed with lupus last year, 2013. I had tickling while walking, butterfly rashes on my face, palms of my hands were dark with sores, ulcers in my nose, painful muscles, fatigue and joint pains. I am on prednisolone drugs. This condition really destabilized my life but now I am more informed…” 


Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis primarily attacks your joints, but may also affect your skin, heart, and lungs.  One 45 -year-old female patient shares her experience living with RA:
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One morning I woke up with rheumatoid arthritis. The onset seemed overnight. Weeks passed until I was diagnosed. I had a severe case. The depression was overwhelming at first. Everything changed. My life does not allow immobility. I had months of pain with little progress. My only hope was starting new medications. The methotrexate started to work. Finally, I received Enbrel injections. It took months before I improved. I experienced two flare-ups, but they quickly passed. I still have fears about the future, but things do get better with time.”

Treatment
Treatment for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis often includes a combination of medications and therapy. Click here for what’s commonly prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis38794917_lMost importantly, doctors recommend getting enough sleep and exercise as well as maintaining a healthy diet to keep a healthy weight. 

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you provide savings on medication for you or your loved ones. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link or text CARD to 95577. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 

WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using the wtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

Sources:
http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/lupus-and-ra
http://www.livestrong.com/article/26158-symptoms-lupus-vs.-rheumatoid-arthritis/
http://www.lupus.org/resources/15-questions-lupus-and-overlap-disease-syndromes
http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/lupus-tests 
http://www.medicinenet.com/systemic_lupus/patient-comments-478.htm 
http://www.medicinenet.com/rheumatoid_arthritis/patient-comments-1030-page2.htm 

By WHBlogger 

5/28/2015 

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

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